Ginger Chile Dungeness Crab

Source: Preeti Mistry, Juhu Beach Club

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Reprinted with permission from The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook © 2017 by Preeti Mistry with Sarah Henry, Running Press. Photo by Alanna Hale.

Dungeness crab season is a big deal in the Bay Area. It usually starts right before Thanksgiving and runs until March. The crab is a popular dish on holiday tables—and its limited availability only makes it more special. In my opinion, Dungeness crab rivals New England lobster in terms of taste, texture, and sheer size. A shout-out to my absolute favorite seafood restaurant in Mumbai—Mahesh Lunch Home, where I always order the fresh crab—for seed-planting status on this recipe.

Serves 2-4


½ pound unsalted butter
1 cup fresh curry leaves
¼ cup minced ginger
¼ cup minced garlic
1 teaspoon Indian red chili powder
¼ cup dry white wine
2 Dungeness crabs, cooked and cleaned (substitute other crab or lobster if not available)
1 tablespoon salt
1 lemon, cut in wedges
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a large casserole on medium heat. Add the curry leaves, ginger, and garlic. The curry leaves will crisp, and the ginger and garlic will begin to brown—after about 5 minutes. Then add the chili powder and wine. Let the wine simmer for about 5 minutes, until the alcohol burns off. Break the crab into pieces: snap off the legs and quarter the body using a large chef knife. Add the crab to the butter mixture, season with salt, and toss the crab to coat all the pieces. Place the casserole in the oven for about 15 minutes; halfway through cooking, remove it from the oven and stir to mix the sauce with the crab. Garnish with lemon and cilantro. Serve with crusty bread.

Farmers Market Ingredients